At 7-15, Edwin Jackson expects to rebound

CHICAGO -- Losing 15 big league games in one season is not an easy accomplishment.

In his first season of a four-year, $52 million contract, Chicago Cubs starter Edwin Jackson has dealt with that adversity about as well as any professional pitcher can.

“This definitely has been a disappointing season,” Jackson said Tuesday after taking his fourth straight loss, this time to the Miami Marlins. “Every lesson is a lesson learned. You either accept and become complacent with it or you find ways to bounce back. I have three more years here I hope.

“When you have a season like this, it makes you definitely look forward to coming back and bouncing back the next three years.”

Jackson was signed to give the Cubs a legitimate starter for the young pitchers on the staff to learn from and follow. That has not been the case, as the veteran pitcher has averaged a starting-rotation low 5⅔ innings per outing. He has not won a game since July 31.

“I have to get ahead in the count,” Jackson said. “You can throw strikes, but unless you throw efficient strikes it does not matter. I have to get back to getting the hitters to put the ball in play.

“If you look back to July, the walk-to-strikeout ratio was pretty much in my favor. I just have to get back to attacking the strike zone and pitching to contact.”

Jackson saw his pitch count begin to rise early due to a lack of command.

“He had good control of his slider early in the game,” Cub manager Dale Sveum said. “It kind of got away from him. He started to throw it short and threw non-competitive sliders there. He did not have a lot of fastball command up in the zone.”

Mystified was the watch word for Jackson’s start on Tuesday … and maybe for his whole season.

“That slider today was dominant,” Sveum said. “It was 87 to 88 mph, and it was swing and miss. It just left him. The velocity went down on it. They were just all short.”

Jackson is 0-4 with a 5.88 ERA in his past six starts.

Greg Maddux was the most recent Cubs pitcher to lose 15 games, in 2005.